Some craft brewers, both large and small, rely almost exclusively on a healthy dose of gut instinct, augmented by barstool-to-barstool conversations with their drinkers.
Craft brewers added 2.8 million barrels in 2015, and 620 new breweries opened. At the same time, craft beer’s growth continues to evolve as competition increases.
The history of package mix in beer has been a dance of the respective market shares of cans and bottles, each growing and declining in response to long-term trends.
Craft brewers continued many of the 2018 trends through 2019, but the future now has a giant question mark for many breweries in the era of COVID-19.
A crosscurrent is developing among craft beer consumers: a demand for simpler more refreshing beers that increasingly complement a healthier lifestyle.
As the growth of craft beer as a category has tapered off, some observers have lamented that frewer craft brewers seem to truly innovate, with many now following trends.
Craft beer volume grew 6 percent last year, but those gains weren’t spread around evenly. Fifteen of the top 25 craft breweries saw their volumes drop over 2015.
The rise in craft beer has, for the most part, masked the slow deterioration of what is still the largest segment of the U.S. beer business.
Several breweries are finding new ways to get customers engaged and involved, including taste testing and rating experimental beers and recipes.
The craft brewing industry has reached a new level of competitiveness, with increasing competition within craft and more than two brewery openings per day.